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Treliske: "Needs Improvement"

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7:01am 27th March 2014

Cornwall's biggest hospital has been told it "requires improvement".

Inspectors warn bed blocking is so bad women have ended up giving birth on the wrong ward.

They also found patients records with missing or conflicting information - and sometimes our notes were not being properly secured.

It is after the Care Quality Commission carried out its first new-style inspection on the trust, hailed as the toughest ever.

The checks, stretching across four days, rated St Michael's Hospital in Hayle and the West Cornwall in Penzance as "good" but criticised aspects of work at Treliske.

It criticised the number of cancelled operations - caused by not having enough beds and ordered officials to draw up an action plan.

It is the latest in a string of warnings about the problem of bed blocking, which has been going on for months.

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “We know that Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has been on a journey of improvement over recent years, with the new accident and emergency department at Treliske the latest and most obvious outward sign.   

“But they're not there yet. At Treliske Hospital  the high occupancy level, particularly in medical and surgical beds, has been having an impact on the quality of care, and on the trust’s ability to be responsive to people’s needs. If they are going to meet those pressures, the trust will need to work in partnership with commissioners and all the other providers, who share responsibility for the effectiveness of health and social care services in Cornwall.

“It was encouraging that the staff we met held such a positive view of recent improvements and were proud to work for the trust. I am confident that the executive team, with the support of the staff, can deliver the improvements we require on behalf of their patients.”

Cancer services and the team spirit showed by staff was praised.

Chief Executive of the Trust, Lezli Boswell, said: "This is a welcome report from the Care Quality Commission and confirms our recent improvement.

"We are pleased that the care and compassion of our staff has been recognised, including the excellent comments on care for patients with learning disabilities and those at the end of their life. There is a strong sense in the report of an improving organisation, good leadership and a dedicated and caring workforce.

"We recognise of course that there is more to do particularly on the digitisation of patient records, continuing investment in modern technology and equipment and most of all on patient flow so that care is provided in the right setting. It comes as no surprise that the report highlights the intense pressure on our services and the need to transform the health and social care system.

"The CQC report now gives us an independent and detailed view of the areas we need to improve and we will work together with our partners to ensure we can provide the very best care and health outcomes for the local community."

7:01am 27th March 2014

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